Freedom From Hunger

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Recognized as a top International Microfinance nonprofit in the following years:
Medal-big-2009
Medal-big-2012
18 Thumbsup 3 Thumbsdown   Info-sm
"Up" is the number of experts who agree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in the field. "Down" is the number of experts who disagree that the nonprofit has had the most impact in field.
Freedom-from-hunger
Headquarters Location: Davis, CA
Founded: 1946


Mission: Freedom from Hunger brings innovative and sustainable self-help solutions to the fight against chronic hunger and poverty. Together with local partners, we equip families with resources they need to build futures of health, hope and dignity.


Tags: 2012, international, microfinance, training, education, credit, health, financial services


Freedom-from-hunger
Story: Young Mohima strolls through her village, along with a few of her friends and Reach India staff members, including a woman she affectionately calls Anwara Didi - or big sister. Anwara, a native of the area, is a recruiter and… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
Freedom From Hunger is making an impact in the sector through direct partnerships and support with other microfinance organizations. They work with organizations to develop training for their clients. Freedom From Hunger’s Credit with Education approach to training helps ensure that clients are supported holistically. The organization has worked to support innovation and transparency throughout the sector.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
Freedom-from-hunger Steve Hollingworth. Steve has more than 26 years of extensive experience in international development. He has served as a Program Officer in Lesotho, advanced to be a Deputy Country Director in Bolivia, and then became Country Director in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India where he developed microfinance and livelihood programs for very poor people when he worked for CARE, a humanitarian organization fighting… See full bio.


Transparency Information
Silver-big
This organization has earned the GuideStar Participation Level Silver, demonstrating its commitment to transparency (learn more)


Financial Data
Charity Navigator Rating: 3stars (profile)
Total Revenue:
$6,488,665


From the Nonprofit
The nonprofit has not added any comments yet. If you are a representative of this nonprofit and would like to leave a comment, please email us at feedback@myphilanthropedia.org with your request.


Contact Info
E-Mail:
 info AT freedomfromhunger.org
Phone:
(800) 708-2555
Facebook:
Follow_fb
Address:
1644 DaVinci Court
 
Davis, CA 95618, USA
Twitter:
Follow_twitter


Freedom-from-hunger Story: Young Mohima strolls through her village, along with a few of her friends and Reach India staff members, including a woman she affectionately calls Anwara Didi - or big sister. Anwara, a native of the area, is a recruiter and counselor for Freedom from Hunger's Learning Conversations program. Over the past few months, she has become a mentor to Mohima and the other young women who participate in the program's weekly educational sessions operated through Reach India.

In their Learning Conversations, the girls and their mothers join together with the counselors for lessons about health and hygiene, finances and society issues they might not otherwise have had the chance to fully understand. The meetings are fun and engaging, filled with songs, games, and laughter. And they are packed with essential knowledge that can help them make smart, healthy decisions about their lives.

As they walk, the girls talk about the information they have gleaned from their discussions and the importance and benefits of sharing it with their peers and family members. There were so many things we did not know and should have asked, says Mohima. We know them now, and we also know now how to ask for information, and that we should ask for it.

The Learning Conversations lessons present very tangible results, even before the girls have completed the program. Mohima readily shares her knowledge and resources with her family and others. When her aunt recently became ill with diarrhea, Mohima knew she needed a treatment regimen of oral rehydration solution, soft rice, and coconut water. In the past, the people of her village would have relied on old customs for treatment, such as withholding fluids, which actually made the condition worse.

There is also regular instruction about saving money and using it wisely. Every week, the counselors give each girl two rupees, which they can use as they wish. Mohima always spends one rupee on food and saves the other. She hopes that one day she'll have enough to start her own embroidery business.

And Mohima values the opportunity to contribute to her family. My savings is sometimes all the money there is to buy food. That makes me feel useful to my family.

By participating in Learning Conversations, Mohima and the others have been given a chance to live their lives to the fullest. They're acquiring significant skills and the confidence they need to take charge, to avoid the pitfalls of poverty and hunger, and to help others in their community do the same.

Expert Reviews of Freedom From Hunger

Evidence of Impact Summary:

Freedom From Hunger is making an impact in the sector through direct partnerships and support with other microfinance organizations. They work with organizations to develop training for their clients. Freedom From Hunger’s Credit with Education approach to training helps ensure that clients are supported holistically. The organization has worked to support innovation and transparency throughout the sector.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

One of Freedom From Hunger’s many strengths is their clear commitment to strong research and evaluation. They are also great at identifying strategic opportunities that overlap with their other services. Their work in combining health services with their microfinance training is one great example of this, as is their strong partnerships. The organization’s staff and leadership are making excellent contributions within the organization as well as in the sector.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

Freedom From Hunger (FFH) should work to secure a stronger funding base and revenue structure, as it has become difficult for many microfinance organizations to get grants. Some experts pointed out that FFH may come against some transitional challenges. For example, it may be difficult to translate pilot programs to various locations, or difficult to reconcile bottom lines. The organization could also benefit from broadening their outreach.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Educational Programming

R
Their impact is evident in their work on savings, and their strong commitment to using evidence to guide their decision making and planning.
N
Freedom From Hunger assists microfinance organizations in developing training for clients. In 2011 my organization acquired a module of this training and field tested it thoroughly over a 7 month period. We are most pleased with the results; in particular, with the very positive response we received from our clients on the Freedom From Hunger training. Many microfinance professionals also have the highest regard for their work.
N
They have an emphasis on providing education with credit. They are highly focused on social impact.
O
They have a history of publishing papers on their research studies. The organization seems committed to being transparent about what it is working on and what it can improve. They recently collaborated with JPAL on a major evaluation of their program, which showed good success from their savings program. I believe that their education and training materials clearly improve lives. For example, their Credit with Education model supports training on health and on running the business. Their savings circles are also improving lives.

Facilitating Advances in the Sector

R
Freedom From Hunger consistently pushes the field forward to enhance their services and impact. For instance, they have promoted health services through an approach called Credit with Education.
N
They have brought about advances in learning about financial education and literacy.
N
Freedom From Hunger has been a major voice in pro-poor, integrated services over many years. Credit with Education and their other models have made significant contributions to the field.
N
Freedom from Hunger brings a strong evidence-based approach to innovation. It tends to produce evidence and information that is actionable with direct practical application.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Information Driven Tactics

N
They have thoughtful, experienced leadership. They also have a strong management and research team.
N
They have a strong leadership. They also have a great depth of knowledge around adult informal education, and how to combine health care or information with credit delivery.
R
They have an exceptionally strong and introspective research and evaluation department. They also conduct academic-quality work.

Excellent Staff

N
They have steady leadership and a strong research department.
N
Freedom seems to have weathered the transition from Chris Dunford's long leadership and has brought in a good CEO who seems to be getting off to a good start. They have some good people, such as Kathleen Stack and Lisa Kuhn Fraioli, who seem competent and have made good contributions to global dialogues as well.
N
The organization has highly committed staff with a strong respect for local institutions. Their training services are strong, and they are highly collaborative.

Innovative Approach

O
One of their strengths is their excellent use of partnering with in-country microfinance institutions to deliver their program. They backed away from starting their own microfinance institutions after starting one in Uganda and learning how much effort is involved. FFH is also an innovator. Currently they are not only providing health education, but also delivering health services at microfinance meetings, and offering loans for health needs. FFH is also innovating on how to reach out to youth in Mali and Ecuador. Freedom From Hunger has been an innovator in training and education. They understand that training gives borrowers direct benefits and a reason, to come to their weekly repayment meetings. Borrowers know that the content of the training will improve their health, and improve their business operations, through the business training. The Credit with Education health sessions improve the borrowers' health, which indirectly makes their businesses more successful as well.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Stabilize Funding

N
They need to think about how to continue to generate revenue in an environment that is increasingly difficult to raise grants for microfinance.
N
A stronger funding base is essential for this organization.

Improve Outreach

R
They could expand their outreach to a wider network.
N
Freedom from Hunger has a presence in a limited number of geographies.

Transition Challenges

N
They have been strong over the years in clarifying their mission and bold about changing their business model to make sure they are in sync with their mission. However, it is sometimes tough to straddle the different worlds they straddle.
O
I believe they struggled for a while to find the right succession plan to long-time CEO Chris Dunford, but I look forward to the leadership of Steve Hollingworth (from CARE). They also were impacted by the 2008 downturn in the economy, which resulted in some layoffs. Working in multiple parts of the world it is always a challenge for any organization to translate one new pilot program to other countries. The youth pilot program is one example.


Leadership

Freedom-from-hunger
Steve Hollingworth
President
Steve has more than 26 years of extensive experience in international development. He has served as a Program Officer in Lesotho, advanced to be a Deputy Country Director in Bolivia, and then became Country Director in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India where he developed microfinance and livelihood programs for very poor people when he worked for CARE, a humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. He also led programs that addressed maternal and child health, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and gender equity. Steve became Chief Operating Officer at CARE's Atlanta headquarters in 2007, where he had direct line-management responsibility for global operations, fundraising and programs in a variety of fields, including micro-enterprise and microfinance, civil society strengthening, local capacity building, local governance and emergency relief and rehabilitation.Steve holds a B.A. in Economics from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, and an M.A. in Economics from the Victoria University of Manchester in Manchester, England.

From the Nonprofit

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